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Resident Mentored Hunt

The mentored hunting program is designed so parents can make the decision on when their child is ready to go hunting for the first time. By emphasizing one-on-one interaction between the beginning hunter and the experienced hunter, safety, respect for wildlife and solid conservation ethics are passed to the conservation leaders of tomorrow.

Whether you are a parent or a mentor participating in this program, thank you for taking the time to hunt with a child. By sharing a safe, ethical and fun hunt with a young person, the hunting tradition is sure to be passed on to future generations.

Applicants may purchase a license throughout the season by applying to the License Office in Pierre either online or through the mail. Please allow ample time (7-10 business days) for the license to be processed and mailed to you before you leave for your hunt. These licenses are not sold at any other GFP office.

Mentored Hunt -
Big Game Application

(Available - February )
(First Deadline - No deadline )
View Application


Mentored Hunter

Any resident youth, at least 10 years of age but less than 16 years of age, that is not required to possess a hunting license as long as accompanied by a hunting mentor while in the field hunting.

  • Residents only
  • At least 10 years of age and less than 16 years of age
  • No license required for the mentored hunter
  • No hunter education class required
  • Must be accompanied by unarmed mentor


Any resident parent/guardian or assigned competent adult that accompanies a youth under the provisions of SDCL 41-6-81 is a hunting mentor.

  • Residents only
  • Must be unarmed except for permitted concealed handgun
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be hunter education certified and carry certification in the field during the mentored hunt
  • Shall possess a valid hunting license for the game being hunted
  • Must be in immediate contact and direct supervision of the mentored hunter
  • If not the parent, must possess written permission from the parent

Rules / Regulations

Small Game Hunting

Big Game Hunting

Things to Remember for Mentored Hunts

  1. Safety First: Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, practice muzzle control, and be absolutely sure of the target. Safety is the primary concern when youth are involved in hunting.
  2. Practice: Practicing shooting skills before the hunt eases fears , reduces wounding loss, and builds confidence.
  3. Have Fun & Be Positive: Success is the hunt, not the kill.
  4. Get Involved: Participate in nature-oriented activities and study wildlife behavior within their habitat.
  5. Give All Your Attention to the Youth: Mentoring is about the youth, not about the adult.
  6. Be aware of their age: Physical stamina and mental maturity is different for youth. Consider short hunts and talk beforehand about field dressing animals.
  7. Patience: Youth don't always get it right the first time. Practice CPR: Compliment, Positive correction, Review.
  8. Listen and Talk: Listen and address any concerns the youth may have before the hunt. Talk to the youth about their connection to nature and respect for habitat and wildlife.
  9. Use Appropriate Equipment: Hunting gear is not one size fits all. Be sure to get the correct sizes.
  10. No Pressure: Sometimes the best shot is no shot. The only good shot is one the youth is comfortable with.
  11. Use Good Judgment: If the youth is not ready for hunting, having the youth observe a hunt is a great option.